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TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) — More than 80 residents are suing officials in an Arkansas city bordering Texas to ensure pay parity between the city’s police officers and their Texas-side counterparts.

The lawsuit filed Friday alleges mismanagement of tax revenue intended to keep Texarkana, Arkansas police officers’ salaries at the same rates as those across the state line. Mayor Ruth Penney-Bell and City Manager Kenny Haskin are named as defendants in the suit.

The Texarkana Gazette reports that Arkansas-side voters approved a pair of quarter-cent sales taxes in 1996 to fund the pay parity.

Plaintiff attorney, Brent Langdon, alleges that officials use the money for purposes that the voters didn’t approve. Langdon has requested the revenue be put in a fund for the police department’s payroll.

The defendants’ attorney argues that the funds haven’t been misused, but are simply insufficient to finance pay raises.


Information from: Texarkana Gazette,